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Ngaanpurinytjulatju Tirtu Palyalpayi We Always Do it Like This

Katjarra Butler Nyarapayi Giles Esther Giles

The work of the Tjarlirli artists is timeless. This is the way these women and the women before them have always painted and drawn their stories.

cover image: NYARAPAYI GILES, Warmurrungu, 35 x 47 inches (89.5 x 119 cm), acrylic on canvas, Tjarlirli Art #13-020 right: Ngannyatjarra Lands, Western Australia

WE ALWAYS DO IT LIKE THIS This exhibition entitled Ngaanpurinytjulatju Tirtu Palyalpayi—“We Always Do It Like This”—is a showcase of the rich and dynamic art from three most senior painters of Tjarlirli Art; Esther Giles, Nyarapayi Giles and Katjarra Butler. Tjarlirli Art Center represents the artists of Tjukurla in the Ngannyatjarra lands of Western Australia, one of the most remote communities in the world. The work created at the art center is of that place, that land and culture. Walking into the Art Center in Tjukurla is like walking into a goldmine of color and warmth. Everything is alive; the walls and floor are spattered with years of paint flicked from the artists brush. Works in progress line the walls; every square inch of wall space is filled with canvas, primed and waiting to be inscribed with knowledge and expression. Nyarapayi, Esther and Katjarra are the cornerstones of the art center landscape. They sit in a triangle, chatting in their language, singing women’s cultural songs, as they’ve been doing all their lives. And they have been drawing these stories all their lives—with their mothers, their sisters, their daughters, their family. Whether it be in the sand or on the body or in paint, this is how they have always done it. The strength in these works is the strength in the women who paint them. Their passion for their country and culture is what inspires this wild and powerful art. Established in 2006 Tjarlirli Art has been recognized as a source of culturally rich and vibrant work. As the only business venture in Tjukurla, Tjarlirli Art provides much needed income and employment for a community of approximately 50 people. Today paintings from Tjarlirli Art command the attention of discerning buyers and in recent years have been acquired by a number of major collections in Australia and abroad. Harvey Art Projects USA gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Tjarlirli Manager Nyssa Miller in mounting this first time USA exhibition. We also sincerely thank Katjarra, Nyarapayi and Esther for sharing these beautiful paintings that resonate so strongly their profound connection to land and culture.

Tjarlirli Art Center, Tjukurla, Western Australia

KATJARRA BUTLER, Ngamurru/Katjarra, 65 x 60 inches (165.5 x 152 cm), acrylic on canvas, Tjarlirli Art #12-245

KATJARRA BUTLER, Ngamurru/Katjarra, 65 x 60 inches (165.5 x 152 cm), acrylic on canvas, Tjarlirli Art #12-245

NYARAPAYI GILES, Warmurrugu, 35 x 47 inches (89 x 119.5 cm), acrylic on canvas, Tjarlirli Art #12-261

NYARAPAYI GILES, Warmurrugu, 24 x 35 inches (60.5 x 90 cm), acrylic on canvas, Tjarlirli Art #12-342

ESTHER GILES, Patjarr Esther, 54 x 60 inches (136.5 x 152 cm), Tjarlirli Art #12-336

ESTHER GILES, Kuru Yultu-Esther, 30 x 40 inches (75.5 x 101 cm), acrylic on canvas, Tjarlirli Art #12-302

KATJARRA BUTLER Ngamurra/Katjarra, 70 x 59 inches (179 x 149.5 cm) acrylic on canvas Tjarlirli Art #12-279



Esther Giles was born circa 1940 and grew up in

Nyarapayi Giles is one of the respected elder wom-

the desert, living the traditional nomadic lifestyle.

en of the Tjukurla Community. She was born in the

After the death of her father, her family moved to

bush at Karku and traveled throughout the Western

the then newly established government settlement

Desert region with her mother and father, hunting,

of Papunya. Esther has since returned to live in her

gathering bushtucker and camping in the traditional

country with family members. Esther was known

way of her ancestors. Her knowledge of the Inma

for her skill as a traditional basket weaver before

(ceremonies) and Tjukurpa (dreaming stories) as-

becoming recognized for her exceptional paint-

sociated with the Ngaanyatjarra Lands is extensive.

ing skills. Her artworks represent the traditional

Nyarapayi settled in Tjukurla when the Community

homelands associated with her people’s ancestral

was first established in the 1980s. She works with

heritage and are detailed in symbolism. The iconog-

punu (wood carving) and still enjoys hunting in the

raphy depicts sand dunes, known as tali, and rock

bush. She learned to make baskets woven from

escarpments, known as puli, as well as waterholes

spinifex in the 80s and has a large basket on per-

and food sources. Her designs are often used in

manent exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery.

body art during traditional corroborees (dance festivals). The artworks depict the physical markings that the ancient ancestors have provided to give evidence of their activities during the time of creation. In the years that Esther has been painting, she has gained worldwide recognition, participating in many national and international solo and group exhibitions. Her works are represented in private and public collections in Australia, Europe and the USA.

KATJARRA BUTLER Katjarra was born at a place called Kuun in Western Australia. Kuun is the name of the waterhole there. Kuun is also the name of the yellow ochre. There is also a place very close to Kuun that Katjarra refers to as her home and is one of her Tjukurrpa, or dreaming, which she paints. It is called Kuurmankutja. This place is home to the two Kuniya (python) dreaming. The other dreaming that she paints is Marrapirnti. Her father was Lilyiwara Tjungurrayi and her mother was Mangkatji Nangala. Katjarra had an older sister, Nguya Napaltjarri, and younger brother, Peter Tjanpaltjarri, now both deceased. Katjarra lived with her parents, siblings and immediate family in the bush as a child, teenager and young married woman. She lived with her family and later with her husband in the country to the west of Tjukurla–in the Kulkurta area, which is south of the Baron Range in Western Australia. Katjarra lived a traditional nomadic lifestyle, where families travel within their family’s country and live off the animals that they hunt and bush food that they collect. They collected and drank water from the rock holes, soakages, springs and clay pans (waterholes). All the traveling was done on foot. (Written by Elizabeth Marrkilyi, Katjarra’s niece).

Ngaanpurinytjulatju Tirtu Palyalpayi We Always Do It Like This on view Aug-Sept 2013 Sun Valley, USA 391 1st Avenue North Ketchum, ID 83340 USA (208) 309-8676 Copyright 2013 Harvey Art Projects USA & Tjarlirli Artists

Backcover Image: Artist Nyarapayi Giles

Profile for Harvey Art Projects USA

Tjarlirli Artists  

This exhibition Ngaanpurinytjulatju Tirtu Palyalpayi- ‘We Always Do It Like This’ showcases the rich and dynamic art from three senior paint...

Tjarlirli Artists  

This exhibition Ngaanpurinytjulatju Tirtu Palyalpayi- ‘We Always Do It Like This’ showcases the rich and dynamic art from three senior paint...